“Happily ever after”

23 Feb

12:46 pm

And, it’s been a week since I last posted–gah!

First, the good news: I am sober. And, we all know that that three-word sentence holds SO much good. Enough said.

Second, I have my life, and my working limbs, and no cavities, and relatively awesome health. I am calmer and happier than I’ve been in, like, ever. I am sitting at my part-time job right now, which is at the ferry terminal; and while others are too proud to beg, I sure ain’t. (I get paid $10/hour, but all I “have” to do, at this point, is exist and be friendly to strangers who come up and talk to me–done and done!)

All that being said, Jesus Fuck, I wanted to drink last night. I was agitated, and foggy-brained. Not sure which comes first, or if I can actually DO something to prevent this deadly state-of-mind. But, I got through it–thank God(dess). I wrote (pounded; I have no markings left on my “n” and “m” keys, which is curious because there aren’t many swear words that start with these letters) out all my bad feelings into my journal, and about an hour later, I was feeling better. And, this morning? SUPER-glad I didn’t drink. I would have gotten even more foggy-brained, and today, I would have been hungover and I would probably still be wondering who let Satan invent fermented grapes.

I do, however, see a 9-to-5 in my future. I mean, ultimately I can’t seem to grasp exactly how writers can keep up the freelance thing without a full-time (or at least, 3/4-time) job “on the side.” I don’t think many do, for practicality’s sake, but also, for sanity. Stay calm, I tell myself in the morning, and in the evening: you will somehow find the money for next month’s bills, you will somehow muster the energy for yet another pitch…for which story, if assigned, you will make a tenth of what you’re worth–but hey, who’s counting pennies? Yes, I’d be remiss not to admit that this makes my stomach boil, in a way. Two Ivy League degrees–one in the life sciences, no doubt–and I’m working a part-time job for $10 an hour so that I can be able to afford to do journalism? As one colleague of mine put it: journalism, the last “luxury” profession. It’s just…maddening…and, yes, it REALLY makes me want to drink. Like, every second of every day. It’s just another thing, I guess, that I fight against, along with the normal mood swings/cravings that come and go.

But, I can change things, and I have to remember that. And, all these things I’m worrying about, eh, they probably won’t add up to much anyway when the time comes to do the adding. Like, OK, I spent a year of my life not making that much money, living in the middle of the ocean. So? And? All this is to say, tomorrow–in the form of next week or next month or next year–will come, and I likely won’t even remember what I was worried about not having, or losing.

I’ve been feeling somewhat down lately, so forgive if this post screams dragging, or tired, or bothered. Or just UNDERPAID. I also haven’t been feeling well; and, it bothers me, like it would anyone. I mean, Google is the devil digital-incarnate when it comes to figuring out what’s wrong with you. I’ve determined I’m either dying of cervical cancer, or have lupus. Right. Dr. Drunky Drunk Girl and her assistant, Nurse Google. Maybe it’s nothing? The most frustrating thing is not knowing; a close second might be, not having any control either way–to the extent that you can take care of your health, you do, and beyond that, you don’t have that much say in the matter.

Yes, I really wanted to drink last night. I just felt…sad, or something. Sad about it all. Sad that I don’t feel well. Sad that I am pushing a boulder uphill. Like Sisyphus.

Which brings my wandering mind to my brother’s wedding in May. But, of course! You know how people get married and then, for some reason, expect their lives to be radically different somehow because they have a piece of paper that says “married?” Yeah, I never got it either. “Happily ever after”…what? It seems the same with sobriety: there is no happily ever after. You just keep doing life, albeit sober instead of drunk. YES, I handle things better–probably a lot better than I’m giving myself credit for today–but I still get agitated, I still ruminate, I still don’t want to socialize and then end up feeling alone. I still get stressed about work, and I still drag my feet when it comes to making decisions about pretty much everything important. I still feel depressed, or, slightly down a lot of the time. (Thinking of myself as Sisyphus is probably something I should stop doing if I want to not feel slightly down a lot of time, methinks.)

As my year approaches (in three weeks), I am definitely wondering about all this navel-gazing that Getting Sober brings (instead of simply quitting drinking, or cutting back). Do NOT get me wrong: I SO don’t miss being hung over, and doing and saying horrible things while drunk. Duh. However, I have to admit, I do miss the “fun” me; and, honestly, the sober me is well, sobering. And, she’s beginning to be quite a downer. I think back longingly to my late 20s-self–where is she? I miss that girl.

I know what I have now, though–who I am–is stronger, and more settled, and more emotionally adept at handling life. I know that I’m a much improved version of myself. Yet, I miss something…and I’m not sure if it’s related to me getting older, me getting sober, me not really feeling stimulated in my life down here, or what. Puzzles; it’s a good thing I have the patience for them.

Anyway, signing off for now. Chittering insects (my mind, reference to the closed captioning on ‘The Walking Dead,” anyone?). Hope everyone is doing OK. I, for one, have about 10 blog posts that I started and have yet to share. This week!

Oh, and thank you for letting me vent! I feel so much better. Smiling. You guys rock. And I don’t care who says what, even IF I don’t know what you look like and have never heard your voices (except for Belle), I can’t imagine having come this far without you. 🙂

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13 Responses to ““Happily ever after””

  1. jenisthesoberist February 23, 2014 at 1:27 pm #

    We don’t have to feel good about everything all the time…it makes sense that when we feel shitty about things in general we feel shitty about sobriety, too. Wishing you the best with your appointment, Dr. Drunky Drunk Girl (that made me chuckle). xxx

    • Drunky Drunk Girl February 23, 2014 at 1:31 pm #

      Thanks, Jen! xx

      • pupfanatic February 23, 2014 at 5:26 pm #

        Hi, Drunky. I stumbled upon your blog a few months ago (well, not stumble, I googled “how to deal w/ sobriety…or something like that.) I am a (struggling) recovering pain pill addict (how fun) and it’s been a bitch. Just a bitch. Not fun on and not fun off, you have some familiarity w/ that one, huh? (Not the pills but life sucking either way) But, today’s post I just read, I must tell you, affected me the most. In fact, enough to respond. Why? Because the truth, the truth of how fucking hard it is, and the cravings and even though you are sober, which is great, life is still…life. With all it’s annoyances. Somehow that comforts me. I know you know about the “pink cloud” syndrome and when people talk about that, it makes me gag. Probably because I’m jealous. No pink clouds here.

        In any case, you apologized for venting. Don’t. THAT is the real stuff. That’s the stuff that makes people not so alone (well me, but I know from meetings, honesty goes a long way.) By the way, do you attend meetings?

        Regardless, whatever you are doing, it’s working. You have almost one of YEAR sober. So you’re doing something right. Right? It may not be fun right now (key words: right now) but at least being sober gives you one HUGE less thing to worry about. It’s not making you happy right NOW but you put down a humongous problem. Now I guess, just gotta wait for the little moments of joy to creep in. I would like to be where you are, was getting there, too. But, alas, this is not a straight line. Dammit.

        Thanks for today’s post though. I love you attitude about your $10/hr job. I love it! It really took me out my entitled, I have a great degree so everything is beneath me, bullshit. I love that you have that job and are essentially okay w/ it. What a concept!!

  2. Maureen February 23, 2014 at 4:19 pm #

    So familiar with that feeling of missing that “fun, funny person” that I was – maybe still am but haven’t seen. Grateful to be not hungover, but frequently hear that old Peggy Lee refrain, “Is that all there is?” And she was drinking and felt that way (the character in the song). Luck to you, DDG, in the job search.

  3. changingcoursenow February 23, 2014 at 6:47 pm #

    Yes we are not the fun girls we used to be. They are gone for good. Time to reinvent ourselves and develop a new persona. Kind of exciting isn’t it? A whole new me (and you)!

  4. thirstystill February 23, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

    I am having one of those really really really want to drink nights tonight. But “hungover and probably still wondering who let Satan invent fermented grapes” probably isn’t what I want for tomorrow, so I won’t. Thanks for making me laugh at that, though.

    You sure have my sympathies on the writing thing. Journalist shouldn’t be a luxury profession. Good writing seems to have become something that exists outside the economy, but that only works if you’re rich already. I sure hope you find a way to work enough to feel secure and also keep the writing going, but I see how hard it is, and that would wear anyone down sometimes.

    I know you;re writing here about low mood and work/health issues, so it might seem odd to say this, but you do sound like you’re mostly doing great these days. I don’t comment here much but I have been reading your blog since last summer, and I love how you rail against things and then carry on with the sober thing just the same. I hope you feel better soon. And I’m glad you’re writing here.

  5. Lisa Neumann February 24, 2014 at 10:14 am #

    As a non-writer-by-profession, I am secretly jealous of writers. I felt that I am good at my job, but the only way to market my skill is to write about what I did. You are so gifted. Eloquent to read, no matter what the topic.

    IMO … you nailed this. Marriage doesn’t make life better—I make life better. Not drinking alcohol doesn’t make life better—I make me better. And it’s a never ending job because I seem to always want more from me.

    ps—I have a good online writer’s resource I can email you if you’re interested let me know. lisa@ogelcoaching.com

  6. furtheron February 24, 2014 at 10:40 am #

    This is the trudge on the road of happy destiny. You are getting there trust to it and go with it

  7. minneapolisatmidnight February 24, 2014 at 2:57 pm #

    Um, holy shit you have a lot of strength to keep it up in freelance and be sober! I cannot IMAGINE trying to get sober and practically surviving on writing alone. I am impressed, and I haven’t even finished this post yet.

    I’m one of those people who went to J-school but settled for a regular day job because I didn’t have the balls to give freelancing a go right away. I was too scared to live paycheck to paycheck. Now, I hope to break in “on the side.” If you have any tips I would welcome them.

  8. erics1100paces February 24, 2014 at 4:00 pm #

    Good to hear your voice, DDG. I’m glad you’ve got a backlog of posts awaiting us. I look forward to reading them.

    Yeah, you miss something. Me too. We miss “abandon.”

  9. Katherine February 28, 2014 at 5:21 pm #

    As a J -school graduate, I did the freelance thing twice, for a year each time. Never again, and NOT immeidately out of school (a few years post, with a few mag editing jobs under my belt). Just too hard unless you have a super-regular outlet that pays super-well. And who has that? No one I know. I’ve freelanced on top of every full-time job I’ve had (with the permission of the job, natch!) and while yeah, it’s like having two jobs (ok, one job and a whole bunch of other jobs what with the pitching and writing), the stress is so much less compared to what you’re having… And if I don’t WANT to write (rare) and no one is taking my pitches (not rare), well, I’ve still got insurance, a roof over my head and facebookatwork all day. lol. Hang in there. (And I’m still drinking; but less… and thoughtfully. And it’s ok for now…)

    • Drunky Drunk Girl February 28, 2014 at 6:22 pm #

      Katherine,
      Thank you SO much for this–gosh, it’s good to hear your perspective. I mean, this is the first time doing this, and I feel isolated. I’ve recently concluded: you do freelance until either a/your money runs out or b/your savings gets low enough where you draw the line. It’s just tiring, and I’m like, sort of burned out on *always* wondering if I’m going to make rent! Anyhoo, you obviously know all this, and I am so grateful to hear an honest take on this lifestyle…

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